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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Single-spike Sedge - Carex scirpoidea

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
C-value: 4

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Dioecious, rhizomatous. Stems erect, 5–40 cm, tufted. Leaves basal and cauline or basal bladeless; blades 1–3 mm wide. Inflorescence a solitary spike; bract inconspicuous. Spikes unisexual, cylindric, 1–4 cm long. Perigynia ovate to elliptic, sometimes flattened, brown to purple above, pilose, 2.5–4 mm long, with a distinct beak 0.5 mm or less long; stigmas 3. Female scales brown to purple with hyaline margins and a pale midvein, sometimes ciliate or puberulent, concealing the perigynia or nearly so. Achene 3-sided, smaller or nearly filling the perigynium (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are subspecies pseudoscirpoidea (Rydb.) D.A. Dunlop and scirpoidea.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Circumboreal south to CA, NV, UT, CO, MI and NY (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 195

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Dry ridges, fellfields with gravelly non-calcareous soils (subspecies pseudoscirpoidea) and calcareous soils (subspecies scirpoidea)(Flora N. America, Vol. 23, 2003).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
    • Williams, K.L. 2012. Classification of the grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, forests and alpine vegetation associations of the Custer National Forest portion of the Beartooth Mountains in southcentral Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 376 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Single-spike Sedge"
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Citation for data on this website:
Single-spike Sedge — Carex scirpoidea.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from